5th grade was the year I started hating school. While there were a few moments of joy (my high school art classes, AP English, summer break) college and time outside of school to delve into my interests gave me my love of learning. I became a teacher because I know what years of struggling in school, both academically and emotionally, look like. I watched my sister, and many of my friends have similar experiences. I heard my husband’s stories. I wanted to help fix the school system and offer the kids I taught a different experience.
There were many things I loved about teaching, but around the time our second child was born, my energy started to shift. Trying to balance being the teacher I wanted to be with being the mother I wanted to be was impossible, and I was becoming less and less able to stomach everything else that came with teaching. Everything else looks like a system badly in need of change that asks too much of its teachers. I wanted to keep fighting, keep trying to make school better, but this voice in my head kept asking me how much I was willing to give.
Was it worth it? Was I willing to keep making the sacrifices teachers make? I spent more time with my students than I did my children. Nights and weekends were for grading or trying to figure out how to get my students interested, invested, and learning. And my oldest, he was entering school. I couldn’t help but go back to my experiences or look at how jaded so many of the kids I taught already were. I saw how excited Kindergarteners were to learn and what happened the more seatwork and tests entered their days. Yes, I knew plenty of great teachers who helped kids love to learn, but I knew a bunch who were tired too. Which ones would my kids get?
I felt stuck. Not knowing what to do, looking for inspiration, and probably trying to escape a little, I found solace online. I loved reading blogs about families who tried to live simply. These glimpses into another mom’s life were more than a distraction. They helped me think about what type of life I wanted. What type of life I needed to recreate.
The more I read, the more I discovered the writers I loved and resonated with most had one thing in common; they were homeschoolers. Amanda from Soule Mama, Heather from Beauty that Moves, Erin from Exhale, Return to Center, Jamie from Steady Mom (Simple Homeschooling) all wrote about the one option we’d never considered.
It took a few years and a lot of changes. Today, we’re four years into this unexpected journey, and I can tell you we would choose to start homeschooling over and over again. I am so grateful to the moms whose stories gave me a gentle push to give homeschooling a try.
Why We Homeschool
Homeschooling gives our family:
Time together (a lot)
Time to delve into our interests
Time to learn at our own pace
Time to work through our challenges
Time to recharge
Time to play
Time to travel (offseason)
Time. It was what I wanted more than anything when I was teaching. I wanted time with my children, and I wanted our family to have time to do the things we loved.
Our choice came with sacrifices as all choices do. I left a career I loved, our income changed, we had to find a new community, new friends, and when we started, we didn’t know anyone else (other than bloggers online) who were homeschooling. It was a little lonely at first. And it’s not easy. Homeschooling can come with plenty of its own challenges. But they are OUR challenges, not a system’s.
Thankfully, there were blogs and online communities to help us get started, and who I continue to rely on over and over again. There are so many wonderful homeschool mamas who share their stories and resources online.
I am so excited to be joining 28 of them at the Start Homeschooling Summit later this month.
What is a homeschooling summit?
It’s an online conference. Once you register, you can attend as many workshops (on a variety of homeschool related topics) as you wish. It’s professional development but fun.
34 Workshops- 29 Presenters-6 Days
Here are just a handful of the topics you can choose from:
Getting Past the Fear of Homeschooling
Learning in the Real World
A Simple Plan for an Engaging Homeschool
Demystifying Homeschool Subjects
Working with Gifted Children
Helping Our Kids When They Struggle.
The best part? You don’t have to choose. You can attend them all!
I wish I’d had the Start Homeschooling Summit when we were getting started. Piecemealing together my questions, looking for ideas, and connecting with other homeschoolers took a lot of time and effort.
I think you’ll get everything you need to get started and be well on your way in just six days.
There are a bunch of perks to THIS online conference.
- You learn in the comfort of your home
- You choose the days and times that work best for you
- Each workshop comes with a free resource
- Everything comes right to your inbox
- You can come in your PJs 🙂
Best of all, it’s important everyone who wants to attend can. The Start Homeschooling Summit is FREE.
If you asked me seven or eight years ago if I would ever homeschool, I would have immediately said no. I didn’t think of homeschooling as an option.
It is an option, a good one for many of us, and it’s worth exploring. Maybe you’re in a place like I was; you’re looking for a change, feeling stuck, or you just want to make sure your kids love to learn.
Teachers, long time homeschoolers, friends who are interested- YOU are welcome too. There are so many topics that relate to us all.
If you know someone who might be interested, please spread the word.
I hope to see you there!